It was prepped as a “Major Announcement” by USDA and I applaud USDA for working with farm radio & tv reporters like those attending today’s NAFB Washington Watch program, however, news it was not.
You can listen to the complete press conference with Ag Secretary Mike Johanns here: Johanns Press Conference
Pictured are (l to r) USDA Deputy Secretary, Chuck Conner (sworn in this morning), Secretary of Ag Mike Johanns and NAFB president Emery Kleven, Waitt Farm Network.
Basically Johanns announced that USDA would be conducting a series of public listening sessions on the next farm bill. No start date, locations or format.
I think USDA was trying to use this opportunity with farm broadcasters in town to build a relationship with the media and that’s a good thing. I just wish there had been more details to the announcement.
During the session both sides, USDA and farm broadcasters, took turns patting each other on the back, so it’s obvious this morning’s press conference was a way for further strengthening a long standing relationship. Several of the broadcasters in attendance volunteered to host a listening session in their area, including NAFB at their annual convention in Kansas City this November.